Are you a problem solver? I am and I can’t help it. Every time someone tells me a problem, I want to help find a solution and if I don’t know it, point them in the right direction. So when an acquaintance got diagnosed with cancer my mind went straight to how can I help. I put together care packages in Que Emoción but most of the times is for celebratory events. I do carry get well soon items and boxes ready to ship, but when confronted with the ‘C’ word for illness it just hits different. You want to do more. I started to think what they could need, and I found a great website that focused on cancer patients care packages. They explained that through the process the body get dehydrated, and people experience hot flashes, dry mouth, and dry skin. Any products that could alleviate this side effects were greatly appreciated by the people receiving their care packages.
I decided to offer a care package tailored especially for cancer patients in hopes of bringing them comfort through this hard time. You can find our gift box here: (put link)
Below is a short list of items you can include and the benefits/reason to include them. I found most of them at the local drug store and others are handcrafted by small businesses like the green tea and the hand sanitizer.
For mouth discomfort, these moisturizing lozenges will help patients keep their mouths moist while also addressing and soothing some of the irritations that can come through treatment.
Queasy Pops – nausea is a persistent problem for chemotherapy patients, this all-natural lollipops are a great item to have around at all times since sickness can come quickly in waves and patients may need a quick easy way to address it.
Antioxidants work by tracking down free radicals and neutralizing their harmful effects. That helps keep more of the body's cells healthy and less susceptible to becoming cancerous. Green tea, berries, dark chocolate and nuts help with these. Include some as a healthy sweet snack or in the form of green tea.
Hand Sanitizer – Chemotherapy reduces the bodies immune system, making it very important to keep the hands germ free.
A good lip balm with natural ingredients like aloe vera, avocado or jojoba oil to keep their lips nourished and avoid cracks and peeling.
Refreshing wipes that they can use for the face or body. I selected a bag from Burt’s Bees with cucumber and mint for all skin types.
Ice globes or ice rollers, are tools you keep on the fridge to cool for when needed you can pass them through the skin for instant relief on inflamed skin, muscle tension, stress and headaches. I have a pair and I use them for migraines and it works wonders to rub them by the forehead and sinus area.
I added a pair of bracelets with encouraging phrases and a coloring book for adults with mandalas, I read this could be helpful while they wait at hospitals to keep their mind occupied.
Moisturizers for the face/ body. Deep nourishing hand or body lotions.
- Gummies or vitamins that help the immune system.
When deciding how to name the care package we offer I thought quickly of boxing gloves, ‘lets beat cancer’ and the phrases we usually see in the media. I’m very glad I didn’t, and to look up more documentation on this first. In this sensitive time those choices of words put an unexpected burden on the patient, like they are at war with the disease. If things don’t go as planned or the treatments aren’t as successful, they can feel they didn’t make their best effort in ‘fighting’ or ‘beating’ the disease. Is better to avoid the war metaphor and just provide comfort, distract with fun anecdotes and bring support. I named one of the Que Emoción care packages for cancer boxes HOPE and there is also an option for a more explicit box sign in the characteristic tone of Samuel L. Jackson: F#*K cancer.
Here is how our box looks:
To order one follow this link:
If interested in reading the articles related to the war metaphors here are the links: